In preparation for the Government Hour on the topic “Legal Reform in Kazakhstan: request for the assurance of the quality of legal education”, deputies of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Legislation, Judicial System and Law Enforcement Agencies held an extended meeting to discuss the quality of legal education in Kazakhstan with the senior staff of relevant ministries, as well as representatives of public and non-governmental organizations.
Opening the meeting, Chairman of the Committee Vladimir Volkov noted that deputies have already had a series of meetings in the cities of Nur-Sultan, Almaty, Karaganda, Kostanay, where they gathered proposals to improve the quality of legal education in the country.
The Concept of Legal Policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan until 2030, approved by the Decree of the President on October 15 this year, points out the need to modernize the system of legal education.
“Under the conditions of the ongoing reforms, modernization of national legislation and law enforcement practice, the country needs qualified legal personnel complying with modern requirements. After all, the quality of training of qualified lawyers affects the level of law and order and the protection of constitutional civil rights and liberties,” Vladimir Volkov said.
It was noted that there are 65 out of 127 universities that provide legal education in Kazakhstan. But some of these educational institutions are not set up for quality educational activities, and the training of lawyers is just a way to earn money. Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev also pointed to this fact. In this regard, over five years, five licenses under the Law educational program have been revoked.
During the meeting, Vice-Minister of Education and Science Kuanysh Yergaliyev stressed the need for developing aт occupational standard in the field of jurisprudence. The process of its drafting should involve members of the Union of Lawyers, judicial authorities, field-specific specialized and departmental universities, and representatives of the industry, as well as the NCE “Atameken”. The occupational standard will also allow conducting certification as is common in international practice.
Also, the issue of including the professions of lawyer, advocate, and forensic experts in the list of regulated professions was initiated to confirm the qualifications of legal specialists.
In his speech, Serik Akylbai, Chairman of the Republican Public Association “Kazakhstan Union of Lawyers”, spoke of the need to establish legislative measures on enhancing legal practice with government agencies, including the Supreme Court and local courts.
Timur Suleimenov, Rector of the Academy of Law Enforcement Agencies under the Prosecutor General’s Office, called attention to the fact that the level of knowledge of many candidates applying to the Academy does not meet their requirements. The majority has a weak theoretical background. They are not versed in the branches of law and confuse substantive law with procedural law.
In his speech, Yerkin Ongarbayev, Rector of the L.N.Gumilyov Eurasian National University, made proposals to the Government about the increase of the number of public grants. He also believes that only those universities, which can provide quality legal education fully compliant with the state and international standards, should remain on the market of educational services.
Sergey Pen, Provost of the M.S.Narikbayev KAZGUU University, marked the need to introduce procedures for independent certification of graduates of law schools and establish compulsory accreditation of universities by organizations of the professional association at the republican level.
Also, representatives of universities of Nur-Sultan, Almaty, Karaganda, and Kostanay took the floor, who also pointed out the need to improve the quality of legal education and supported the idea of creating an interagency working group for making specific proposals on this topic.
As a result of the session, deputies made suggestions to create an interagency working group, as well as to develop proposals for the modernization of the legal education system in Kazakhstan, taking into account international experience.
(Press Office of the Senate, 74-72-27)